ADRIAN, Mich. – The Adrian College baseball team salvaged a split on Saturday against Hope College with a late rally for a 4-3 win in game 2 after a tight 2-1 loss in game 1 at Nicolay Field. The second game victory was critical for the Bulldogs as they maintain a two-game lead in the MIAA standings at 10-2 and would also have a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Flying Dutchmen.
Jake Chipka tossed a gem in game 1 for Hope allowing the Bulldogs only two hits a day after they had 33 in a doubleheader sweep. Chipka did not allow a hit until a leadoff double by Ryan Dorow in the fourth when Adrian scored their run. Dorow advanced to third on a wild pitch and then Mitch Stefanski drove him home with a sacrifice fly to left. The Hope defense played big in the sixth inning to preserve the win. Sam Fischer was robbed off potential extra bases to start the sixth. Dorow singled through the left side with one out and Stefanski walked to put the tying run in scoring position. Drew Shutes flew out to right and Dorow tagged up and moved to third with two outs. R.J. Rios hit a ball to center and Tim Bodine made a sliding grab to prevent the tying run from scoring.
Ben Pearson and Ryan Konkle both had a RBI in the two-run second inning for Hope. Brent Greenwood threw a great game but did not get much run support falling to 2-1 on the season. Greenwood allowed just four hits and no earned runs with a walk and five strikeouts. He lowered his earned run average to 1.59 which ranks third in the MIAA.
The Bulldogs did not fare much better in game 2 with the bats early as they trailed 3-0 after three innings. The Flying Dutchmen got a two-out RBI single by Luke Brower in the first and then Brower had another two-out RBI single in the third to give Hope a 2-0 lead. The Bulldogs then botched a stolen base attempt later in the third which allowed an unearned run to score.
Adrian scored twice in the fifth to cut the lead to 3-2. John Joseph and Sam Fischer reached base to start the inning and then Dorow flied out to right allowing Joseph to take third. Stefanski was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Shutes had the clutch hit with a two-out single to right scoring a pair.
Adrian was three outs away from getting swept when they scored twice in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead. Dorow drew a leadoff walk on four pitches and then Stefanski drilled a double down the right field line scoring Dorow with the tying run. Rios sacrificed Stefanski to third with a bunt and Hope brought the infield in to potentially cut the go-ahead run off at the plate. Shutes did not give them that chance as he ripped a single through the left side on a 1-0 pitch scoring Stefanski with the winning run.
Holden Branch kept his team within reach for six innings and then once he got a lead he closed the door in the seventh with a 1-2-3 inning for his third win this season. Branch went the distance and allowed six hits (two Devin Schaefers' doubles) with two earned runs, no walks and four strikeouts. He needed just 88 pitches (63 strikes) in seven innings and lowered his earned run average to 1.98 which ranks fourth in the MIAA.
Stefanski went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two runs scored in game 2. He concluded the four-game series with Hope batting .583 (7-for-12) with seven runs scored, four doubles, one triple, one home run and seven runs driven in. The Bulldogs had 12 doubles, three triples and three home runs against Hope which sported a 6.58 earned run average in the series.